Heavy Metal is saddened to report that frequent contributor Juan Giménez has passed away at the age of 76. He contracted the COVID-19 virus, checked into a hospital in Argentina on March 22, and died on April 2.
Born on November 26th, 1943 in Mendoza, Argentina, Giménez finished high school as an industrial design major and attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Barcelona, Spain, where he dedicated himself to be an illustrator. He went onto contribute to local magazines such as Zona 84 and Comix International. By then, he had earned a reputation for his exceptional detail of machinery as well as renderings of science fiction characters and concepts. In 1979, he published his first Leo Roa story in France, making his mark on that all-important scene. And in 1980, he served as a creative designer on the “Harry Canyon” segment of the Heavy Metal (1981) film. For years he continued to have his work showcased in comic magazines and anthologies, including Metal Hurlant, the Spanish-language edition of Warren Publishing’s 1984, and the Italian L’Eternauta.
Gimenez made his Heavy Metal magazine debut in our April 1981 issue, with a black-and-white story “Good-Bye, Soldier!,” written by Ricardo Barreiro. He published numerous installments of his “Matter of Time” series, beginning in August 1983. Other Gimenez stories that followed included “The Sleeping Princess” (August 1985), “Top Secret” (September 1985), “Timescooter” (October 1985), “Primabell” (Fall 1986), “Garbage” (with Carlos Trillo, Spting 1987), “The Naked Branch” (with Felipe Hernandez Cava, Summer 1988), “Leo Roa” (March 1989), “The Fourth Quarter” (January 1990), and “Apocalypse: Eyes of Doom” (July 1993, later collected in a hardcover edition). Beginning in July 1997, Heavy Metal serialized Gimenez’s “Choose Your Game,” which played out over several issues.
In 1992, Gimenez met the writer and film director Alejandro Jodorowsky. The two would go on to collaborate on one of the most seminal science fiction sagas ever, The Metabarons – creating an instant classic which continues to sell successfully around the world. In July 1995, Heavy Metal published the chapter “The Saga of the Meta-Barons: Othon the Great.” The Metabarons, along with the rest of the Jodoverse stories, has been published in various formats by Humanoids.
Gimenez created some of the most captivating illustrations to grace the medium and we are blessed to have had a talent such as his contribute to the magazine and to the field itself. His work is breathtaking, full of ideas, vigor, imagination and beauty. In other words, it’s simply unforgettable. He will be greatly missed, but his works live on.
It’s time to visit them again.